DESSERT FOR DINNER can be anytime, yet when the children were little, I would often serve dessert for dinner during the month of February. We called it the backwards month, because DESSERT FOR DINNER was my attempt to make dinner fun by starting from the end.
There are many dessert options that contain healthy ingredients such as whole grains, milk and eggs, and personal favorites include Indian Pudding, Custard, Apple Pie. The following recipe for Buckwheat Crepes is from my upcoming Vermont Country Store Cookbook, which can be served for dinner, or breakfast.
Think of crepes like a good old-fashioned wrap, and fill it with shredded chicken, cilantro, sour cream. The nutty goodness and firm texture of buckwheat holds the filling, yet is still delicate and delicious. Crepes are fairly quick to make, and this recipe makes a big batch, which you can keep in the refrigerator or layer individually with waxed paper and freeze.
Makes twenty-four 8 “ Crepes
Invest in a crepe pan, and a new repertoire of recipes will open to you. Of course you can use a regular skillet, yet an authentic crepe pan makes it easy to make a super thin pancake, that can be filled with a variety of savory or sweet ingredients. Think peaches, strawberries, blueberries or cooked down apples, such as this recipe for spicy dessert applesauce.
½ cup whole-wheat flour
½ cup buckwheat flour
½ cup white flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons butter, melted
Canola or other vegetable oil, for skillet
In a large mixing bowl, or a blender, combine flours and salt. Add eggs and mix with a whisk to blend. Gradually pour in the milk and 1¼ cups water, whisking vigorously to prevent lumps. Add butter and continue to whisk until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Before cooking, give it another quick whisk to blend again.
Lightly oil an 8-inch crepe pan, and place over medium heat. When pan is warm, lift from heat and wait 3 seconds, then pour in ¼ cup crepe batter while tilting pan so batter coats bottom evenly. Return to heat. Cook until lightly browned underneath, about 2 minutes. Turn the crepe with a thin spatula, and cook other side about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate, cover with a plate to keep warm, and continue until all the crepes are made.
You can either fill them while warm, or once completely cooled, wrap in plastic and store in the refrigerator for five days. Reheat on a dry skillet over medium low heat, which will give them a nice crisp exterior.
To fill crepes, spread about 3 tablespoons filling, (try the spicy dessert apple sauce below) across one end. Roll end just enough to enclose mixture. Fold in two sides of crepe, then continue to roll.
Makes 4 cups
Applesauce is so easy to make, there is no reason to buy it in the grocery store. Simmer sliced apples with a little water or apple cider, until soft. The type of apple will determine the cooking time: a firm Cortland will take slightly longer to cook than a soft Macintosh. Both can be pureed through a food mill, or served slightly chunky.
1/2 cup sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon powdered cloves
8 medium (2 pounds) cooking apples (Cortland or Macs) peeled, cored, and thinly sliced.
In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil, add the sugar and spices. With a wooden spoon, stir until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes to release the flavor from the spices.
Add the apples and cover. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often until the apples are barely tender, about 10 minutes. Don’t overcook the apples as they will continue to cook off the heat.
For a smoother sauce, mash the apples with a fork or run through a food mill to puree. Serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold.